Preorder Recon Jet - It's Heavy Duty Glass

Recon Jet is a heads-up display for athletes, surgeons, firefighters - anyone with an active profession or lifestyle whose performance would be enhanced with a little hands-free information.

Recon Jet has been described as Google Glass - but tougher; it's now available for preorder at $499.

(Recon Jet video)

“Recon Jet is an extremely activity-specific device,” company CMO Tom Fowler — a former professional triathlete — told me today. “We do not aspire to be the general purpose device you wear when walking around in daily life but the device you need when you’re engaged in a specific activity at a very high level.”

The device, which is embedded within a pair of sunglasses, weighs just 28 grams — less than an ounce — and is weighted perfectly with 14 grams to a side. Included in that ounce is a dual-core 1GHz processor, a graphics chip, Wi-Fi, built-in ANT+ for device communications, Bluetooth, GPS, a HD camera, and a raft of sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, magnetometer, and thermometer. And, of course, it has an HD display, infrared gaze detection, a mic, speakers, and a touchpad that Fowler says works even with gloves and even when it’s snowing.

Science fiction fans have been looking forward to some sort of cool, heads-up display since Robert Heinlein described the idea of a hands-free helmet so elegantly in his 1959 classic Starship Troopers:

Since your head is the one part of your body not involved in the pressure receptors controlling the suit's muscles, you use your head -- your jaw muscles, your chin, your neck -- to switch things for you and thereby leave your hands free to fight. A chin plate handles all visual displays the way the jaw switch handles the audios. All displays are thrown on a mirror in front of your forehead from where the work is actually going on above and back of your head. All this helmet gear makes you look like a hydrocephalic gorilla but, with luck, the enemy won't live long enough to be offended by your appearance, and it is a very convenient arrangement; you can flip through your several types of radar displays quicker than you can change channels to avoid a commercial -- catch a range & bearing, locate your boss, check your flank men, whatever.

Put in your Recon Jet preorder, via VentureBeat.

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